During her residency stay, Traci Molloy, a Brooklyn, New York-based artist and education activist, created collaborative artwork with the Center for Grieving Children’s Multicultural Program, which practices a peer support model to build and strengthen community. USM art students in Molloy’s USM Artist-in-Residence course assisted Molloy with the artwork and attended the Center’s program to observe. Marie Sheffield, coordinator of the Center’s Multicultural Program and licensed art therapist states: “when those who feel as if they are part of a community, work together, hope and resiliency flourish.”
Molloy created a separate artwork with the Center’s middle school and high school groups by drawing their portraits and having them add their own imagery to the portraits. Molloy then made digital prints and banners for a display. “Traci’s community-based art project helped to facilitate the process of finding common meaning, promoting expression and recovery, and reducing isolation for students in the Multicultural Program,” said Sheffield.
“With this type of community project, people can realize the commonality in our collective humanity. The artwork, the visual language, can prompt dialogue and inspire people to consider things from another perspective. That is how we, as communities, can enact social empowerment and change.”
— Traci Molloy, Artist-in-Residence
Molloy further explains, “In talking with the middle school and high school students at the Center, I found that they are very empowered.” “They are strong, they are brave, and they believe that they are going to make a difference. There is an extraordinary sense of community.” For the past 17 years, Molloy has worked on collaborative art projects in New York City and across the U.S., exploring themes of adolescent identity, and building and strengthening communities.
Dates: February 23 – May 1, 2015